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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Red Letters Campaign- What's THAT smell?!!

What a title. I promise I'll explain...... later.

Yesterday evening Dustin mailed off a care package for Jonas. We included the picture album, the blankie, and a stuffed animal we've been sleeping with for many months now. I was excited to hear from Duni that they will make sure The Boy gets his goodies. I also heard from another mom with a son in the orphanage along with Jonas that we can expect an update soon. I was super excited to hear that! I am anxious for new pictures of our Ethiopian Chick Magnet. (He sure makes all the women in this family swoon)

In other fabulous news our agency has hired a spectacular American doctor who works in ET to keep tabs on all our precious ones. She's known as the best in the biz I hear. What a relief to my mommy heart.

So back to the reasoning behind getting our stink all over Jonas' stuffed animal. That may seem really strange to my non adoptive friends out there in bloggy world but the idea there is to provide a basis for Jonas to recognize us by the familiar and, I hope, pleasant smell of his stuffed animal. Hopefully, by the time we arrive he will have become fond of his stuffed elephant and therefore enjoy or at the very least recognize our smell when he meets us. Many adoption behaviourist/attachment professionals suggest adoptive parents use the sense of smell as a tool in their parenting tool box. We're willing to do whatever it takes. Every night before bed D and I would each reapply our respective cologne and perfume for the sake of stinking up said stuffed elephant. The thing is we pretty much have to commit to consistently using the same scents for at least a year after Jonas comes home. I've even gone so far as to consider which shampoo, conditioner, soap and laundry detergent I can stand for that long. Same with lotions. We tend not to be creatures of habit in this area so it took some planning for us. We want to smell consistent. (Ha! That's funny to type.) Attaching in Adoption and Parenting the Hurt Child have more to say about the subject of using the sense of smell as a tool for attaching and bonding so I won't lecture on. Instead, I want to share a really cool story about how a certain smell can get locked in a child's memory, particularly during the stressful turbulence of coming into a new home.

A woman shared this story on an AZ ethio adoption YG I belong to. She told us that she wore her hair curly when she travelled to pick up her child in Ethiopia. Since that time she hadn't been wearing it curly. When she styled her hair curly again a long time later (possibly years... can't remember) her child told her that she smelled like Ethiopia. The hair gel she used had triggered his memory of her scent when he first met his mommy. Now, if that isn't a powerful in-"scent"-tive (yes, I know that is a HORRIBLE pun!!!) I don't know what is.

PS- tonight is the first time the weather has felt even remotely fall-ish. It's not scorching outside anyway. The kids are squeezing every last drop of daylight while playing outside. I feel like baking something. And rolling in a large pile of leaves.

Okay, I'm over the last part.


Stacey said...

I agree with you. We used the scents with Seth when he was having a hard time sleeping at night. Jeff or I would cozy him up with one of our shirts from the day and it seemed to help. Great idea with the elephant Jen!

I know I am still taken back to my childhood every time I smell fresh cut grass or a certain smell. It's amazing!

I love the blanket but somehow missed your original post about it. I don't think it looks girlie at all!

beBOLDjen said...

Ha Stacey my memory trigger is weirded than cut grass. When I smell a freshly lit cigarette it reminds me of my childhood and the days when my dad used to smoke in the house while he read a morning newspaper on the couch and I'd sit right next to him enjoying all that second-hand smoke. Maybe that's why I have asthma as an adult :)))))